Register for Webinar Wednesday - A Taxing Matter: Using Tax Lists in Genealogy by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL
How I use Hashtags to track my DNA matches

Legacy and MyHeritage: More FAQs answered

Below are more answers to questions you have asked us over the past several days regarding the Legacy-MyHeritage acquisition.

More Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Will Legacy continue to be stand-alone, offline software?

A. Absolutely! Legacy will always remain as it is. Legacy users can count on using Legacy in the future exactly as they have been using it for the past 20 years, on their personal computer, disconnected from the Internet, with the tree data stored only on their computer. When Tree Sync becomes available in the future, it will be completely optional, and under no circumstance will anyone's tree by synced online unless that is the express desire of the user.

Q. Will I have to have a MyHeritage membership to continue using my Legacy software?

A. Nope. The acquisition leaves Legacy independent. A subscription to MyHeritage is not and will never be required to use Legacy. You can use Legacy forever without any ties to MyHeritage. Legacy does have matching with MyHeritage and other sites, but your tree is not nor will it ever be transferred to these services through this matching feature. The matching exists to help find matching records.

Q. I've backed up my Legacy file to the Legacy Cloud. Will my backup remain mine or will it be shared with new ownership?

A. Backing up your tree to the Legacy Cloud stores a private backup copy of your Legacy family file on our secure servers. Nobody will ever have access to these family files. They are yours.

Q. What about Legacy for the Mac?

A. This is now our number one priority. Now that our team members at MyHeritage will be taking over our accounting, taxes, and other busy work, we can get back to completing the Mac project.

Q. I have a current annual webinar membership. Can I extend my membership with the current half-off offer?

A. Yes! Visit and add the yearly membership to your cart. Make sure you are logged in at checkout. The purchase at the sale price will extend your membership by another year. Don't wait though - the sale ends Sunday evening, August 13 (Geoff's birthday!!).

Q. Will you please convince MyHeritage to use maiden names in their trees instead of the person's married name?

A. This option is already available. In the Family Tree view at, click on the options button in the upper right (looks like a small gears icon). In the Name Preferences section, select Maiden name. Done!

Q. Where can I learn more about MyHeritage?

A. We've done a few webinars with MyHeritage. They are free to view at  You could also visit their site at

Many more frequently asked questions are listed in our original announcement. If you missed it, click here for all the details and scroll down to the FAQ section.

More thoughts from Geoff

Originally posted in our Legacy User Group on Facebook:

It's certainly been an eventful day today. In a few minutes, I will go finally eat some lunch. I've learned much from your comments today and would like to conclude my day with a few additional of my own.

Naturally, change brings uncertainty. Past experiences, negative or positive, shape our feelings of the unexpected and the unknown. I have personally felt a roller coaster of feelings as, although I like innovation and new ideas, I'm also most comfortable with no change.

Some have stated that our decision to partner/be acquired by MyHeritage must be about the money. Yes, it is - your money in fact. I don't want a single person putting any money or time into our software if we knew that it wouldn't be able to be with you for a very long time. I've put my last 20 years into Legacy, not just developing it to have a job but because I use it and love it, and sincerely depend on it. I would never be on board with an acquisition like this unless I was sure of many things. True, we can't ever be 100% sure of anything, but we've invested everything into ensuring that this move is in the best interest of you, our loyal customers. I'm a customer too.

This next paragraph is going to get very personal, so maybe skip over it. I personally believe that I can receive answers to my prayers, and this decision of ours has been one that each of us - Dave, Ken, and myself, have spent many hours on our knees seeking divine guidance. The answer to my personal prayer came as I sat in an empty ballroom at RootsTech earlier this year. The answer was one of complete peace about this decision and the future of both our Legacy software and our customers. If ever I question whether this was good, I can easily recall the feelings I had that day.

Geoff's feelings aren't going to persuade anyone to love something they already dislike. I will never like squash. I've tried to like it, but have concluded that it won't be for me - ever. MyHeritage may never be for some of you, and that's fine. You might consider giving it a second chance every now and then, yet nothing in our announcements or our future plans have or will infer that you will be forced to use it. Legacy will continue, and only because we have partnered with MyHeritage do I believe it will continue to flourish. We had to announce the acquisition to be transparent with everyone, but even if we hadn't, I believe you would begin to notice significant developments and unexpected longevity with both our software and our webinar series - solely because now we can spend more of our time working on Legacy and none of our time doing all the small business tasks of accounting, taxes, and on and on. Now we'll be able to do what we love the most.

We know that we would be nowhere without each and every one of you. We'll sadly accept that some feel betrayed by this acquisition and will always continue to wish you the best. We are optimistic about the future and cannot wait to begin this new journey with I hope most of you.

Great, now I'm smelling dinner cooking. I'll sign off now for the evening, but look forward to a future of finding lots and lots of ancestors with all of you!

Geoff Rasmussen


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I use and love Legacy because it allows me to fully document my research. However, I have always liked MyHeritage too. I guess I will have the best of both worlds now. has a wonderful program Geoff. It could be an incredible boon to genealogists. But, it needs work. Because the program leans almost entirely on trees provided by its membership, it seems to assume that submitted "trees" are correct. However, in my experience, there are far too many errors, and when one identifies a duplication, or any other error for that matter, there is no easily understood protocol to make a correction. Also, there are few independent sources that are cited by MyHeritage that can give credence to what a "tree" shows. Finally, a member has no way of limiting one's "tree", for example, to direct ancestors only say. There will always be a balance of what is offered to members and the need to generate income to fund development. Hopefully, some people at MyHeritage are looking at ways of modifying these three issues to give a user more flexibility, and make the software more satisfying.

Thanks for the additional Q & A's. I'm happy to hear it will still be a standalone program with options to sync. I'm also really, really looking forward to the Mac version. I hope everything works out the way you see it working. Best Wishes, Ann

Hi Geoff: It has been a long time since we first met. I'm Connie Smith and a tended the first class you and Jim Terry taught at the FHL with Deb. I was a beta tester with Deb and learned a lot. I never liked My Heritage. They seem to have access to my data base. I don't like that. B-u-t because you and Jim are, still involved, I'll give it a try. Congratulations on your growing family, I remember when your first child was born. I just had a relative give me access to his family file and it contains over 29,500 names, pictures and stories . Have a lot of reading to do. I,m using 9.0. Good luck in the future.


Thank you for your reassurences.

I am a believer in your software and Legacy.

My biggest concern when I heard of the aquisition was remembering another outstanding genealogy software program, Ultimate Family Tree.

It too was acquired by a large genealogy software corporation, Ancestry. We as loyal users (I was also a multi-year beta tester) that UFT would continue for a long time to come.

Within a year, as I recall, Ancestry announced that there would not be any further updates. Then, one day I discovered the software in the budget bin at a software store. It was a very short time after that, that Ancestry announced that it would not continue the software.

At the time, UFT was the #1 rival of Amazon's own Family Tree Maker. They had purchased UFT to get rid of it.

As much as I hate to ask it, will My Heritage do the same?

Jim Hall

Jim - thanks for your thoughts. MyHeritage wants to keep Legacy Family Tree around for a very long time, as do I. If we received even the slightest hint from them that they would discontinue Legacy we would not have pursued the agreement with them. Legacy will continue to be developed well into the future.

For those Legacy users in Victoria, Australia you might like to know that at least some library membership cards can also be used to log in AT HOME for FREE and access that Library's Membership on the My Heritage site. I live in the City of Monash and have a library card to Monash Council's library that allows me to log on at home to the library's copy of My Heritage. I imagine that many libraries must provide this service - but if your local library does not, membership is free, and anyone from any municipality can join Monash's Library.

I really like Legacy and have been using it for a few years now. Was thinking of joining either Ancestry or MyHeritage to do additional research; anyway, just wondering if MyHeritage will be offering any special programs/pricing for existing Legacy users? I think Ancestry is a bit pricey, may be worth it, but, am seriously considering to give MyHeritage a try.

John - yes, watch for special pricing for Legacy users sometime within the next month or so.

I guess I didn't see this coming. I started back with Broderbund owning Family Tree. After it was sold and sold and sold, it became something I couldn't use without changing a lot of what I had done, and I ended up having to start over with another program. I chose Legacy because I thought you would always be here. It seems like I have spent half my life redoing my genealogy files.

I am not naive and have worked for software companies, where an acquisition was made, and one or the other companies and products disappeared. I hope what you say is true and that the product will continue, also that it will continue to be developed and improved to keep up with what is happening in the industry. I know My Heritage is a good product, I just don't want to change again.

For now, I will trust you and your message that it is right. Please don't disappoint and good luck with your new adventure.
Suzanne Johnston

The comments to this entry are closed.